Pressure Continues on Outgoing President Arias to Protect Leatherback Nesting Beaches
The Sea Turtle Resotration Project's new Campaing Leader, Dr. Chris Pincetich, just mailed Central American Director Randall Arauz more than 300 personal letters signed by STRP members and an additional 150 signed postcards from more members
and people from around the world to be delivered by Randall to the desk of President Oscar Arias
of Costa Rica calling for full protections for Pacific leatherback sea
turtles at Las Baulas National Park.
Our efforts calling on President Arias his majority policitcal party in the Costa Rican Congress to increase, not
decrease, protections for Las Baulas National Park have resulted in over 2,750 individual messages from STRP members and global activists. This park is the
world’s most important nesting site in the Eastern Pacific for
critically endangered leatherback turtles. Read the STRP letter below.
In 2009, Arauz also
hand-delivered a letter from 150 scientists and environmental groups to
halt plans to allow building of beach houses, condomiums and other
structures next to the last nesting beaches for Pacific leatherbacks
left in the world. Download the letter as a PDF file.
Newly elected Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla is a close ally of outgoing President Arias, and soon our efforts will shift to increasing pressure to preserve Costa Rica's nesting beaches through her leadership. Current campaign plans include continuing our efforts to inform the Costa Rican Congress of the science supporting increased leatherback nesting beach protections, continuing grassroots efforts in Costa Rica with STRP and PRETOMA members, and engaging the global activist community to join us in our efforts to save leatherback sea turtles from the brink of extinction.
The following letter was sent by hundreds of STRP members to President Arias.
Subject: Protect Las Baulas for Leatherbacks, Not Tourist Hotels
Dear Senora Hania M. Durán and President Arias,
Please do not allow Las Baulas National Park - one of the last nesting beaches of the leatherback in the world - to be downgraded to a wildlife refuge and open its beaches up to coastal construction projects for tourism. At a time when actions around the world are focused on preventing the extinction of this critically endangered sea turtle, Costa Rica's proposed action is unthinkable. If legislation (Bill 17.383) to remove national park status from Las Baulas passes, it will undermine Costa Rica's reputation as a leader in conservation and will forever destroy your "Peace with Nature" legacy.